The recent spate of crimes in the metro has me, for lack of a better description, cowering in fear. Truly. And for someone like me who lives by the “bahala na si Batman” motto, that really means something. Plainly said, I’m shit scared of what’s happening.
Just yesterday, I contacted a home-security specialist to ask for a quotation for CCTV’s and other security stuff. Why? There was a break-in and carnapping incident right down the street from where we live. To make matters worse, I found out that there was a salvaging that happened last week by the bridge just around the corner from our street. That was enough to get me into a frenzy.
I have already instructed the kids on how to stay safe at all times. Simple things, actually.
For instance, always keep the doors and windows shut when in the car. Never alighting from the car without an adult waiting for them. Always hold on to an adult when we’re out of the house. No wandering off when were outside. And lately, I don’t even allow them to answer the phone.
For my part, I try to keep things simple too. I try not to pass thru deserted streets (nowadays, getting caught in traffic is a better alternative to getting carnapped on a deserted road). Because of the early morning carnapping and kidnapping incidents we never leave home until the sun is out which is like 6:30 a.m. as opposed to our previous quarter to 6 time of departure. I make sure that I park the car in areas where there are a lot of people. And I have even minimized my trips out of the house.
Here’s a letter that was forwarded to me by my hubby regarding safety given today’s unsafe atmosphere.
Carjacking incidents have reached an alarming rate the past few days, with some of the victims even ending up dead, burned and thrown off to some remote places. Although there is a very slim chance of one becoming a victim, still it may happen to anyone and may take place anywhere as carjackers always look for every oppurtunity irregardless of sex, race or age.
We share with you the below PNP tips on how to reduce the risks of being a victim for your reference
- Walk with purpose and stay alert.
- Approach your car with the key in hand. Look around and inside the car before getting in. Be wary of people asking for directions or handing out fliers.
- Trust your instincts – if something makes you feel uneasy, get into the car quickly, lock he doors, and drive away.
On the Road
- Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up (at least part-way, if it’s hot and you don’t have air conditioning), no matter how short the distance or how safe the neighborhood.
- When you’re coming to a stop, leave enough room to maneuver around other cars, especially if you sense trouble and need to get away.
- Drive in the center lane to make it harder for would-be carjackers to approach the car.
- Avoid driving alone. Go with someone whenever possible, especially at night.
- Don’t stop to assist a stranger whose car is broken down. Help instead by driving to the nearest phone and calling police to help.
- Park in well-lighted areas, near sidewalks or walkways. Avoid parking near dumpsters, woods, large vans or trucks, or anything else that limits your visibility.
- Never leave valuables in plain view, even if the car is locked.
- Put them in the trunk or out of sight.
- Try to park in a garage with an attendant. Leave only the ignition key, without identification.
- Even if you’re rushed, look around before you get out and stay alert to the surroundings.
If It Happens to You…
- If the carjacker threatens you with a gun or other weapon, give up your car. Don’t argue. Your life is worth more than a car.
- Get away from the area as quickly as possible.
- Try to remember what the carjacker looked like–sex, race, age, hair, eye color, special features, and clothes.
- Report the crime immediately to the police.
- Work with Barangay or Community Watch groups, law enforcement, automobile club, and other concerned groups to get the word out about carjacking prevention. – Try a special flier, a community forum, and posters.
- Make sure that driver education classes talk to teens about preventing carjacking and other auto theft.
- Call the radio station and ask the manager to air carjacking prevention tips during airing hours.
- Ask your insurance agent or company to put carjacking and other auto theft prevention information in notices and bills.
- Enlist parking lot owners, shopping mall security, and transit authorities and distribute educational materials with carjacking prevention tips.
- Place carjacking prevention fliers or brochures in the waiting rooms of dealer service departments, auto repair shops and gas stations.
- Ask your Motor Vehicle Sellers to display carjacking and auto theft prevention advice – posters, handouts, etc.- in its offices and distribute prevention tips in all mailings or in their official websites.
Taking precautionary measures can minimize your chances of becoming the victim of car theft. Here are some additional tips you can use to avoid being the victim of a car thieves:
- Never leave your car unlocked, or running, even to dash into a business shop for just a second.
- Never leave keys in the car or ignition, inside a locked garage, or in hide-a-key boxes.
- Always roll up your windows and lock the car, even if it is parked in front of your home.
- Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk out-of-sight.
- Always park in high-traffic, well-lighted areas, when possible.
- Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column, or brakes.
- Investigate the purchase of a vehicle theft tracking/security system, especially if you own one of the frequently-stolen vehicles.
- Never leave personal identification documents, vehicle ownership title, or credit cards in your vehicle.
- If you must leave your key with a valet, attendant, or mechanic, leave only the ignition key. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm.
- In high theft areas the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should be etched on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid. This makes it difficult for a thief to market your stolen car parts.
- Copy your license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card and keep them with you. If your vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to take a report.
- Many vehicles today come with some type of security system from the factory. Normally there are upgraded systems available if you ask. The best choices are systems that shut off the fuel supply so that a car can’t be started or driven.
- If your vehicle is stolen, report it to the police immediately.
The “Bump and Rob”
- It works like this. A car, usually with a driver and at least one passenger, rear-ends or “bumps” you in traffic. You quickly get out to check the damage and exchange information. Either the driver or one of the passengers jumps in your car and drives off.
- If you’re bumped by another car, look around before you get out.
- Make sure there are other cars around, check out the car that’s rear-ended you and who’s in it. If the situation makes you uneasy, memorize or jot down the car’s tag number and description; signal the other car to follow you. Drive to the nearest police station or to a busy, well-lighted area.
- If you do get out of the car, take your keys (and purse or wallet if you have one) with you and stay alert